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Local leaders still want people wearing masks, looking to enforce guidelines despite state ban on fines

Local leaders clashing with governor over mask rules and enforcement
Local leaders clashing with governor over mask rules and enforcement

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is issuing a new order on wearing masks in public, and Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber has reached out to the governor.

This is coming after local leaders were banned from fining people who were caught without a mask by the State of Florida when it moved into Phase 3 of reopening.

“Maybe now that the White House has been stricken with this virus, they will reconsider making it a political issue,” said Gelber. “I think they will. I think our governor should as well.”

Gelber sent a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the weekend, urging him to let local governments enforce mask mandates, writing:

“The notion that we are still debating this seems incomprehensible given the recent infections of the First Family, and the horrific impact the virus has had on our own residents.”

Some South Florida leaders have said they will continue enforcing guidelines and collect fines at a later date.

Monday afternoon, Gimenez tweeted out updated rules on mask usage, exempting people outdoors with a barrier ensuring a distance of ten feet and requiring athletes in team sports to wear masks when on the sidelines.

Miami Beach Resident Dijana told Local 10′s Amy Viteri this moment should be a wakeup call for everyone, not a continued debate.

“I definitely think there should be fines. Our president is currently -- and half of his administration -- they’re currently infected with COVID-19,” Dijana said. “I’ve had people step into the elevator right next to me and just laugh it off or start coughing.”

About the Author:

Amy Viteri is an Emmy Award-winning journalist who joined Local 10 News in September 2015. She's currently an investigative reporter and enjoys uncovering issues facing South Florida communities. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, she's happy to be back in South Florida, where she earned a masters degree at the University of Miami.